Ruth Clavell applied and qualified for the Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Small Business Emergency Recovery Grant, which gave her $5,000 for covid relief assistance
As a result of the declared emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Ruth Clavell received from the City of Homestead and the Homestead Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) a grant established to help small businesses, which, like hers, had to close when the pandemic started and the city decided to go on lockdown in March.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the small business community. The city started implementing intervention programs to help businesses recover from the crisis. Therefore, the CRA began offering emergency assistance grants for small businesses located within the Community Redevelopment Area boundaries.
Ruth applied and qualified for the CRA Small Business Emergency Recovery Grant, which gave her $5,000. “This grant was a blessing from God because it helped me pay the rent that I was behind for three months, as due to the emergency, I was forced to close the business,” said Ruth.
Ruth said she applied for the grant in May, and the application process went very fast. “The whole process took about 40 days, from when I applied online until they gave me an answer, approved me, and told me the check was ready,” she says.
The CRA Small Business Emergency Recovery Grant is still available to all eligible businesses located within the CRA, and that meet other requirements. “In my case, I was eligible to apply for the grant because my business, Gorgeous Beauty Salon (6 E. Mowry Dr.), is within the CRA area, and it is also a business that was disrupted in its operation due to the Covid-19 emergency,” said Ruth.
To be eligible for this grant, businesses have to meet requirements such as to have suffered financial distress due to the declared disaster, to have from 2 to 30 employees, to be in good standing in terms of taxes and valid licenses, to have been established before January 1, 2020, and to provide financial documentation that identify annual revenues of less than $500,000, among others.
Alongside the grant mentioned above, the City of Homestead and the CRA launched two complementary programs designed with the same purpose of helping residents and businesses overcome the declared disaster.
These are the CDBG Rent & Utilities Assistance and the CRA Rent & Utilities Assistance Grant Programs, both designed to provide residents who reside within the Incorporated City of Homestead (the former) and those who live within the CRA boundaries (the latter), with one-time assistance of up to $1,500 for one month’s rent and/or utilities cost.
“We’re committed to getting through this together,” said Homestead CRA Director Kametra Driver. “With so many residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19 both citywide and in the Community Redevelopment Area, offering these grant programs to assist those in need just makes sense.
For Ruth, “The grant program for small business has been of tremendous help, especially due to the circumstances that we are facing.” She said the money also helped her to pay the rent for the following months after reopening, as sales have dropped mostly because people prefer not to go out and keep social distancing.
“I referred the program to two more businesses. This is money that you don’t have to pay back. It is not a loan. You do have to prove how you used these funds. I just provided them with the rent payment receipts. It’s a blessing,” Ruth concluded.
Homestead CRA Small Business Assistance Grants! Applications are still active at www.cityofhomestead.com/covidhelp
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